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Not trying to hijack your thread just wanted to mention The Michigan Mile we had here last year. 10,000 foot runway with one mile to go flat out. But was cancelled at the last minute this year. I really really wanted to go see this event. Last years top speed was if I remember was 217 MPH by a 1000HP GTR. These runs sound so awesome.
Well, I finally downloaded the few pictures I shot at the Race-the-Runway event. Pretty sad collection, and hardly any decent Pantera shots, unfortunately.

My excuse is that I was more concerned with not embarrassing myself driving my car off the runway or spinning out (I left that to a few others) and so concentrating on driving and car prep won out over taking pictures.

John Christian (everyone knows him as J.C.) came from Michigan with his ’73 Pantera L along with Will Demelo from Oakville in his Group4 clone to join me in thrashing our cars as hard as we could down the all-too-short runway. J.C. drove 9 hours each way, and Will five-hours each way to take part in this fun one-day annual event. Along with the 100 or so cars doing three high-speed runs, there was an impressive car show (some 300+ cars) that included some really rare (a freshly and gorgeously restored Countach 500QV) and cool rides.

The lone Pantera supporter was Andy Carbognin who came out to support us — sharing his great looking red Pantera with the adoring crowd at the car display.

Will and J.C. arrived the day before and, beers-in-hand, we spent time checking, cleaning, adjusting and parts-swapping. J.C. removed his stock exhaust tail section and replaced it with a set of straight-through pipes that made his car sound truly awesome. His hope was a few extra horsepower which I think he achieved. For this event I decided to bring my GT40 as neither of my Panteras would have had ANY chance of keeping up with either Will or J.C. I felt a bit embarrassed that my “prep” consisted of stuffing some gas in my GT40, checking the fluid levels and torquing a few bolts.

The day started very early and with grey skies. Luckily no rain fell and the sun did eventually make it out later in the afternoon. Cars were organized into five groups of around 20 cars each. One at a time, each group would gather at the start end of the runway and one-by-one take a run. Once a car had left the runway safely the next car was released. It was pretty quick with one car leaving every 45 seconds or so. Will, J.C. and I were all in the same group, so I couldn’t really take pictures of their runs. Here is a shot of J.C.’s car as our group waits for the previous group to finish. The Pantera looks small next to a Mustang, but it sure towers over the GT40!

After each run drivers received their “speeding ticket” with their 1/4-mile time and half-mile speed. Half mile seems like a lot, but it’s not. Particularly when the runway has old, slippery asphalt (made quick starting a chore) and only a 1/4-mile stopping zone. That seems like a lot until you approach it at 135+ MPH and need to stop!

Here we are at the start end of the runway awaiting our runs. I commented to one of the motorbike riders that they must have balls of steel to do this. One guy replied “no, just empty helmets!”. The others agreed.

My best run half-mile speed was 136 mph and a 1/4 time of 12.38. Will’s top speed was exactly the same as mine, but his 1/4 was way better at 11.63. J.C., with his (ahem…) “stock” Pantera, did 132 mph and a 1/4 time of 12.2. Stock my ass… Although he did get something like 19 mpg at an aveage speed of 75 mph on his drive home, which is pretty impressive!

Here Will and I discuss what would have happened had ANYONE from the Quebec branch of our motley crew showed up for a poutine-flinging contest. My brother-in law (red shirt) tries his best to pretend he doesn’t know us.

In between the runs we spent time walking around and checking out the other cars. I somehow ended up parked beside a near Ford GT owned by a guy named Terry from Toronto who drives the car everywhere. It has 56,000 miles on it and it performed impressively. It looked like it would make a nice stable-mate too.

The top scores of the day came from a 2000 HP Heffner TT Lamborghini Super Trofeo Stradal (top speed in the 1/2-mile was a blistering 206 mph with a 1/4 time of 8.9 seconds! One awesome machine with a dedicated pit crew and a transporter I’d be happy to call my home!

We all had a fantastic time and managed to leave at the end of the day with fully functioning cars! I am already looking forward to next year. Just need to lower the front of my car another 1/2”, tweak the alignment. Maybe fit an 8-stack injection system… yeah. It’s a disease…
""Here Will and I discuss what would have happened had ANYONE from the Quebec branch of our motley crew showed up for a poutine-flinging contest. My brother-in law (red shirt) tries his best to pretend he doesn’t know us."""
Great time out at race the runway. What makes it great is hosts like Mark and fellow Pantera guys like Andy, JC, Denis, Bohdan that come out to join us.
I broke down (first time in 6 yrs) and it had no effect on me because of all the help I had with my Pantera brothers. Mark and his lovely wife had to stop the diagnostics/repair to feed us with an incredible steak dinner.
Awesome time with awesome people. Cant wait until next year.
Originally posted by Mark Charlton:
No, that would be too boring. I am planning to take my GT40. Might use my Pantera as a back-up in case I blow up the GT40 before that.

"GT40"as in REAL GT40?!...One of the 107 produced between 1964-69...I'm sensitive about people's liberal usage of the Ferrari Killer "GT40"...Mark
Is it a real car? Well, yes. Is it an original GT40? Of course not. Would I thrash a $5+ million car? No, I wouldn't. Don't be too sensitive. I'm sensitive to people calling Ford GTs GT40s and I still manage to sleep at night. BTW, if it's left-hand drive, it is almost certainly NOT an original car.

The Group4 Pantera was also not "real". But the red Pantera was.

Last edited by markcharlton

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